Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin have upgraded their relationship, with an agreement that the two leaders will be connected by a special hotline between their two bureaus.
The decision, which comes even as ties between Russia and Israel’s major ally the US sink even lower, was announced Friday by Moscow.
“The Russian government has decided to accept the proposal from Russian security service, in conjunction with the Russian Foreign Ministry, to set up a secure line that will allow a direct and encrypted connection between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” the country said in a statement.
The decision means the immediate commencement of negotiations between Russia and Israel to set up the direct line between the two leaders.
Russia has secure telephone lines with leaders in various countries around the world. The first was set up in 1963, between Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and US President John F. Kennedy, in the wake of the Cuban missile crisis. In 1966, the Soviets also launched a similar hotline with France, at the time led by President Charles de Gaulle. Moscow went on to set up further direct lines with Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy and South Korea.
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